Is it OK to watch the “It Gets Better” videos with kids?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: The It Gets Better videos are so powerful, but would my child be too young to understand them and just get upset?
A: The It Gets Better series is very good and should be commended for what it is: A well-intentioned initiative by adults about an important matter that needs to be addressed in a very public forum. The issue here, though, is that the brain development of child viewers is not yet as complete as that of the grown-ups producing these videos.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

How can I address racial jokes on TV?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

A: As you demonstrate you already know, humor around racism, sexism, discrimination or hate in any form tends to be very mature, and usually dark and painful…
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®

Is my daughter’s Halloween costume too sexy?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

A: It’s likely you’ll get “But it’s just a book, Mom. She’s just a character.” You can respond by talking with her seriously: What is it about this costume that she likes? Does she realize how people will respond to her in it…
Answered by Dr Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

How can I keep my teen from texting while driving?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

A: Research shows that using a phone while behind the wheel increases a driver’s risk of getting into an accident by four times (that’s about the same risk as driving drunk) and that drivers who text can be up to 23 times more likely to crash…
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®

Are audiobooks a good use of kids’ time?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My kids love listening to stories on CD. Do you think this a good use of time compared to watching TV?
A: Audiobooks are valuable media for your children because they don’t pre-digest imagery for them. That means that as your kids listen to the stories, they’re given the exquisite experience of actively imagining the worlds they’re hearing about, rather than having the characters and scenery presented to them like in a book or TV show.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®

My son’s school assignment is to watch the news, but I don’t usually let him; what do I do?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My son’s homework was to think about the news he watches and relate it to something in his history book, but I don’t let him watch the news. What should we do?
A: You are right to be concerned about your kids’ exposure to TV news. Because a more tabloid approach tends to bring higher ratings, TV news stations often cover the most outrageous…
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®